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Lentils? Help!

(63 Posts)
ecci53 Fri 30-Mar-18 20:03:05

I had to go to a traing day recently and had lentil and sweet potato bake for lunch. Very nice, so I thought I'd try to make it at home. Had never eaten lentils before, they were small, brown roundish things like tiny brown peas. I asked DH, who does the grocery shopping online, to get some lentils. When the shopping came, we found we had a packet labelled 'red lentils' containing what looks like orange coloured flakes. Nothing like the lentils I had on my training day. I guess there must be different types, but I didn't realise. I've tried cooking some, following the directions on the packet, but it turned into a slurry! Anyone know how to use red lentils? Any recipes gratefully received, thanks.

BBbevan Fri 30-Mar-18 20:05:36

I use red lentils a lot to thicken stews and casseroles.

Cold Fri 30-Mar-18 20:16:06

There are several types of lentil: red, green, brown, yellow and black.

Red lentils make great soups, can be used in stews and you can make indian lentil curry (daal). I used to make a very nice lentil croquette from Sarah Brown's book - or <Rose Elliot

BlueBelle Fri 30-Mar-18 20:30:49

Umm love lentils use them in curries etc

seacliff Fri 30-Mar-18 20:33:40

The red lentils are quicker to cook, can be added to any dish like soup, mince etc to bulk it out. The other coloured lentils are whole, and take a bit longer cooking from packet. Or you can get tinned ones.

Just a tip - don't add salt when cooking, I understand it can make them tough. Add just when finished.

This recipe is very tasty, the pesto makes it. Instead of mash topping, you could have sweet potato. Or I have it just with some feta crumbled over.

Gerispringer Fri 30-Mar-18 20:49:51

Maybe what you had were puy lentils which you can get ready cooked , they are a good substitute for mince in recipes such as shepherds pie or bolognese sauce.

humptydumpty Fri 30-Mar-18 21:15:12

Lovely savoury dish is red lentils layered with sliced potato, pour over stock made by adding marmite to boiling water and bake.

MargaretX Fri 30-Mar-18 21:36:52

Brown lentils need about 30 -40 minutes to cook without salt but with and onion, a carrot and a potato. When soft the Germans add a desertsp. of vinegar. Non vegetarians then fry up a few rashers of bacon in some lard and drain the bacon fat into the lentils, add more salt to taste if necessary.
Chop the rest of the bacon and pour the lentils into bowls and sprinkle the bacon on top.
I do 170- 200gms for 2 people

Red lentils are soon done and cooked with Cumin and enough water. You can add a piece of chicken.

Done wihout meat you let them cook really thick and ad onion or garlic. Put in a tupper bowl and leave a day or two and serve hot as Dhal with rice.

hildajenniJ Fri 30-Mar-18 23:20:41

You can't go wrong with old fashioned lentil soup. I use about 6oz red lentils, one chopped onion, one potato, one carrot, one stick of celery and as much swede as I've got carrot. Chop all the vegetables into small dice and sweat in a little oil or butter for ten minutes. Add the lentils and enough water to cover, add a veg or chicken stock cube and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Check regularly and add more water if it gets too thick. Season too taste and serve. It usually takes mine about 20 minutes.

Hilltopgran Sat 31-Mar-18 01:33:43

I regularly make Bacon and Lentil soup from my Delia Smith book which must be neatly 40 years old and it is still delicious. Some times I add Chorizo as they do in Spain which gives an added spice. I use packet green lentils which cook in 20 minutes.

Gerispringer Sat 31-Mar-18 03:52:10

Use your red lentils in soups to thicken or make a dal if you like a curry, loads of recipes online. . Very easy and quick, I use lentils a lot.

absent Sat 31-Mar-18 05:12:47

If you want the best lentils – and these are the ones I would use for a lentil and potato bake – use Puy lentils. They are quite small and grey-green in colour but have the best and a quite distinctive flavour. They keep both their shape and colour during cooking. Slightly larger flat green and brown lentils, while not quite so tasty, work pretty well too. Yellow and red lentils really won't work in bakes as they tend to cook down to a purée, but they are perfect in Indian cuisine.

Coconut Sat 31-Mar-18 09:15:46

As a veggie we use loads of lentils, for curries etc and my favourite is chilli and lentil soup

Rocknroll5me Sat 31-Mar-18 09:16:46

to the 'slurry'! add some turmeric and a dash of chilli. then fry onion some cloves of garlic and fresh ginger in butter and add. The most delicous dhall ever. Have been cooking it since the seventies. It is so easy, so healthy so good for you and just add lentils from the bag to soups to give them body and nutrition.

Blinko Sat 31-Mar-18 09:18:21

Lentils are great for the digestion. They're full of roughage, or fibre or something. Works for me, anyway and there are some good ideas here. I'll certainly take note smile Thanks, everyone.

silverlining48 Sat 31-Mar-18 09:20:30

I only use red lentils, usually in soups. No need to soak, they cook quickly and are good for you.
Potatoes, parsnips, carrots tomatoes anything else you like, or have leftover, and lentils. Spice up with garlic or curry powder or brown or Worcester sauce. Even pop in a peeled apple. Cook together, stir regularly. It’s delicious. Can be frozen and reheated. I usually do a big pot.

ReadyMeals Sat 31-Mar-18 09:22:33

I make a lentil stew with dried red lentils. 1 large carrot grated (or thin sliced), 1 medium onion chopped finely, 150-200 gram dry red lentils, 2pt water and one or two stock cubes or liquid stock to taste. Microwave at 900w for 30 minutes. Serve with a slice of bread, since wheat and pulses combine to complement each other's proteins

Jaycee5 Sat 31-Mar-18 09:25:38

I prefer red lentils to others as they are softer. I used to make really nice lentil cutlets that were very easy. They can be very dry so are improved by a bit of chutney on the side.

Lindajane Sat 31-Mar-18 09:26:09

If you are looking for texture and a’bite’ then brown, green or puy lentils are great (sounds like those are the ones you had). Red lentils break down to a ‘slurry’ and are a great thicker for soups etc. I use red lentils a lot for soups and dhal. My daughter replaces half her mince with tinned brown or green lentils. Much healthier and cheaper.

dahlia08 Sat 31-Mar-18 09:26:19

Red lentils cook easily where as black or grey one takes longer to cook. You can soak them overnight or few hours. In a pressure cooker from first whistle to about 15 minutes. Add a tablespoon of oil, then fried some can add a teaspoon of paste ginger and garlic, salt , 2 to 5 cups of water(depend if you want it as a soup or thicker). Can be served with rice, bread or drink it as a soup. You can add carrot if you like. Add some chives or spring onions at the end. Red lentils can be cooked in an ordinary sauce pan similarly as it won't take too long. Happy eating, happy EASTER. You can also get tin lentils which you just warm up.

Nvella Sat 31-Mar-18 09:26:48

I have always loved this Delia recipe

Auntieflo Sat 31-Mar-18 09:28:36

If you like a tasty not too spicy dish, to use on it's own, or as an accompaniment, here is a good recipe.
8 ozs dried red lentils
1 pint water
4 ozs butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 oz piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 x 14 oz tin tomatoes, chopped with juice
3 oz tomato puree
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 pint fresh water
coriander sprigs to garnish

Place lentils and 1 pint water in a pan and cook, uncovered, over a gentle heat, for about 20-25 minutes, or until tender
Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat, add the onions and fry until golden. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a few seconds.
Add the spices and fry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Stir in the tomatoes and tomato puree and fry for a further 2 minutes
Add the sugar, 1/4, pint water and salt to taste and stir well. Partly cover, and cook the sauce over a gentle heat for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce becomes thick and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Stir the sauce into the lentils and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander if liked.

This freezes well in portions

Hm999 Sat 31-Mar-18 09:29:15

If you don't want to cook the lentils, try tinned lentils, cheap and easy.

Patticake123 Sat 31-Mar-18 10:14:10

Very simple and delicious soup. Chop 3 spring onions, gently fry in olive oil with teaspoon cumin seeds. Add 4 grated carrots, fry for couple of minutes, add handful of red lentils, cover with vegetable stock, simmer for 20 minutes, Blend. Enjoy.

barbaralynne Sat 31-Mar-18 10:23:45

One of our family favourite dishes is pasta and lentil bake. Make the lentil sauce using red lentils cooked with onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes and some herbs - oregano and basil are good. Cook the pasta separately and also make a cheese sauce. Then in a casserole dish layer pasta, some cheese sauce, lentil sauce, rest of pasta, rest of cheese sauce and a little grated cheese on top. Bake for 20 mins then enjoy! Red lentils can also be used to make excellent patties and eaten with salad or baked beans or whatever you like. They are extremely versatile! Have fun experimenting.